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Author Topic: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?  (Read 429 times)

jymbee

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Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« on: September 15, 2018, 02:56:20 PM »
Hard enough to find a gas station to fill up given the location of our fill (in the rear) and assume that will be even move challenging when we finally get our tow vehicle. Wondering if some folks disconnect to make that operation easier-- especially in a high traffic area?

Also, if one's total weight rating is near the max, steep grades could be an issue. With two drivers it seems one could just disconnect and drive both some distance to get back to less steep areas? From what I hear from many who tow 4 down connecting & disconnecting is fairly easy & quick.

taoshum

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 03:26:12 PM »
Wise question to ask before you get in such a situation!!  If the situation demands that you need to backup, you'll have to unhook the  toad anyway...  tight corners can be an issue, crowed fuel stations can be an issue, etc, etc... Steep hills can be an issue!  It's much easier to unhook in a nice level spot and re-attach later than to wait until you're in a jam.  Once we used the Jeep to tow the RV in an awkward situation!
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

ArdraF

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 06:07:03 PM »
I suppose it depends on a lot of factors like the size of the motorhome and overall length but we don't unhook for those situations you mentioned.  We've had five motorhomes over many years and, once we started towing, we always have driven together.  Yes, there have been a few occasions where we had to unhook because of a too-tight turn or whatever but the reality is you're not going to know there will be a problem until it happens.  And then you deal with it.  We RV to be together and it wouldn't be much fun if we drove separately.  We mainly use truck stops that have large areas to maneuver so there's no need to unhook for fueling.  By the way, we currently drive a 40-foot diesel pusher towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee and there's seldom a need to unhook except those very rare situations we sometimes get into.  You'll know when it happens!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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ChasA

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 06:31:53 PM »
No need to unhook to refuel. Just learn where to stop and which side your fuel fill is on. No need to over think this.
Apex, NC
2010 Winnebago journey Express 34Y
2018 Ford Edge SEL

garyb1st

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 08:01:53 PM »
Never disconnect to get fuel and our fill tube is on the back.  I've had to drive around the station once or twice when I parked on the wrong side of the pump and the hose wouldn't reach.  Best to take your time and do the calculations before entering the station.  Getting in is usually easier than getting out so that is what I look at before entering a station.  We have never had to disconnect, but I have a pretty good sense of how much room I need. 

On the grades, we've disconnected when we first got the motorhome but don't feel that is necessary now.  We are within a few pounds of the GCWR but have a good braking system on the toad.  When we start the grade, we'll slow way down.  We have a grade brake and use it religiously.  But we still brake when the speed get's beyond 40 - 45 on steep grades. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 08:41:14 PM »
Towing a toad with gassers for 10 years now, and have never had to back up at a gas station. The key is to always plan your exit before you enter. And my fuel filler is at the very back corner of my 34' coach as well. I prefer end island pumps when possible.


I've yet to find a hill that our coach didn't handle comfortably with the toad attached, including 6-7% grades.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 08:43:34 PM by NY_Dutch »
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 08:59:51 PM »
Planning ahead is the key, and you will get better at it as you gain experience.  Until then, you may find yourself in a situation where unhitching is needed.  Don't fight it - some people struggle hard trying to avoid it and usually just end up in deep(er) trouble.

Learn to pass up potential fuel stations for any of these reasons:
1. You cannot determine a viable exit path before you enter
2. Heavily congested
3. Extreme sharp turns required (neither the coach nor the toad make that practical)

In my experience there are two kinds of fueling stations that are usually more accessible. 

1. Large "truck stop" types with generous parking areas and multiple lanes2. Small town and rural stations, simply because they typically have more space and less traffic.

Since you may end up bypassing stations, start looking for fuel early rather than approaching the "E" on the gauge.

Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 09:28:40 PM »
Some good points by Gary. You will learn quickly what stations are set up favoriabley for you. The biggest thing is to start looking at 1/2 tank, DON"T wait till you are in desperate need of fuel.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

John From Detroit

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 07:37:25 AM »
Have had a total of ONE TIME I had to disconnect the towed and drive E'm both over the hill independent of each other.. Just once.. Good road if you are driving a JEEP or a mountain goat. not if you are driving a class A.

THe gas station I often fill at across the roads from where I'm typeing (Kroger, Davison MI) I often drop the car in the store lot and take just the RV... However it's easier to go to different Krogers.

Most gas stations I do not have to do that.

And yes. it is easy to drop and re-hook up.
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John Stephens

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 02:23:34 PM »
X2 for everything Gary said. I scout out the station before pulling in because I have used a tow dolly with surge brakes for the last three years and cannot back up, and I have never had to unhitch. I will usually go to the farthest right pump since the fill is on the left side of the coach. If I see there isn't much room in front of me due to parking or the building being too close, I'll begin angling the coach before reaching the pump. I'll also have my wife get out and stand at the pump with the hose in hand to ensure it will reach wherever I stop.

The biggest problem you have to consider is that egress is just as, if not more important, than ingress. Plan your exit before you enter.

Regarding hills and mountains, I have never unhitched, but then, I'll be traveling through the Rockies in a gasser next year so I'll find out then what the coach can do. I don't have a problem dropping down to 25 or 30 mph, but many do and might find it easier to unhitch. If I did that on the upcoming trip, we'd be driving two vehicles for much of the vacation and for me, that's just not doable.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 05:37:41 PM »
When driving on hills it is better to be proactive and downshift before you are bogged down. You need to be able to accelerate in the gear you are in. If you can't then downshift till you can and keep your rpm up till you clear the top of the hill and start down the otherside at the same speed you used to climb it. Don't build up a bunch of speed that you will need to break and get rid of.
Learn what your peak torque and peak hp rpm is for your rig.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Greg Barker

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2018, 07:53:21 AM »
After calculating the mileage, I would use google earth and look at the stations on satellite view before we left, for the first few trips we took with the toad. This would give me some kind of idea how much room a station had. After gaining some experience, I didn't need to do this any longer.
Greg & Kristina
2016 Winnebago Sunstar 31 KE
2015 Toyota Tacoma 4wd
Rocklin California

HappyWanderer

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 08:50:31 AM »
The closest I've come to unhooking at a gas station was due to a self-service air pump that I didn't see on the way into the station. It stuck out over the curb on my exit route.

Missed the air pump by a couple of inches with the front bumper of the motorhome, while the Jeep just cleared the gas pump.

Thought I was going to be "that guy" blocking the driveway to unhook.
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Cooperhawk

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 08:58:27 AM »
There is one CG in Iowa that we use every Winter when we head South, that has the propane in an impossible location to pull through with a toad.  That time of the year there is little else open and after spending a night in the snow, I hate to proceed without topping off the propane tank.  I have tried to get through with the toad and ended up unhooking in the end, so now I just unhook before I try.  Sometimes you just can't avoid these things.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
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John Stephens

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 09:29:06 AM »
There is one CG in Iowa that we use every Winter when we head South, that has the propane in an impossible location to pull through with a toad.  That time of the year there is little else open and after spending a night in the snow, I hate to proceed without topping off the propane tank.  I have tried to get through with the toad and ended up unhooking in the end, so now I just unhook before I try.  Sometimes you just can't avoid these things.

While camping in Mammoth Cave this summer, our campground offered propane and a very reasonable rate. Although we still had ⅜ of a tank, I thought I could save some money by getting my tank filled instead of paying more at home. Problem was, the tank was located in a spot where you had to unhook. Since I was using a tow dolly, it would have meant hooking up at the campsite, driving only 200 yards and unhooking to get the propane, and then hooking back up again.I had already had enough problems with the tow dolly on this trip and chose not to unhook more than necessary. So my tank is still at ⅜ full and will remain that way while in storage this winter.

Now that I am towing four down, I suspect I'll be able to take advantage of things like this because unhooking will be so much easier.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

jymbee

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 11:53:57 AM »
Planning ahead is the key, and you will get better at it as you gain experience.  Until then, you may find yourself in a situation where unhitching is needed.  Don't fight it - some people struggle hard trying to avoid it and usually just end up in deep(er) trouble.

Learn to pass up potential fuel stations for any of these reasons:
1. You cannot determine a viable exit path before you enter
2. Heavily congested
3. Extreme sharp turns required (neither the coach nor the toad make that practical)

In my experience there are two kinds of fueling stations that are usually more accessible. 

1. Large "truck stop" types with generous parking areas and multiple lanes2. Small town and rural stations, simply because they typically have more space and less traffic.

Since you may end up bypassing stations, start looking for fuel early rather than approaching the "E" on the gauge.

On one of first TOADless trips we thought that surely a large Love's Truck stop would be an easy in & out, only to find it had one of the worst access we found on our trip (ended up just leaving). I think your observation re. "small town and rural" makes sense. Of course if data is available checking our an aerial view ahead of time can save a lot of frustration.

Definitely concur with your advice to start looking before approaching "E"-- with all the cars/trucks I've owned and even more these days with the RV. One never knows what lies ahead.

jymbee

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2018, 11:56:04 AM »

Now that I am towing four down, I suspect I'll be able to take advantage of things like this because unhooking will be so much easier.

When we do finally get our TOAD I expect we'll appreciate having that kind of flexibility. Everyone has their own comfort level and we'll probably be over-cautions starting out but perhaps gain some more confidence as to what can be done as we gain experience.

maddog348

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 12:43:16 PM »
OP.   Of course I do. If I wasn't going to use it I wouldn't take it.   JM2˘.   YMMV
Pam (a.k.a.-Maddog  (driver))
Kate (a.k.a.-One Eyed Old Lady {nagivator))
 
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John Stephens

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2018, 03:13:11 PM »
On one of first TOADless trips we thought that surely a large Love's Truck stop would be an easy in & out, only to find it had one of the worst access we found on our trip (ended up just leaving). I think your observation re. "small town and rural" makes sense. Of course if data is available checking our an aerial view ahead of time can save a lot of frustration.

Definitely concur with your advice to start looking before approaching "E"-- with all the cars/trucks I've owned and even more these days with the RV. One never knows what lies ahead.

On a trip out west, we plotted out truck stops, particularly Flying J's and Pilots since we get a discount from Good Sam. On two occasions going through small towns, the Pilots were nothing more than convenience stores that had the pumps so close to the building, it was almost impossible to get the rig out of the lot once we got in. That taught me not to count on having room in truck stop auto sides. I have taught the wife how to use Google street view to see just how much room we have to maneuver in a gas stop before we get there.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Disconnect you TOAD on a trip?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2018, 03:36:00 PM »
Quote
  Don't fight it - some people struggle hard trying to avoid it and usually just end up in deep(er) trouble.
One time I pulled into a gas station and cut it too close. When I finished fueling I realized I would have to unhook to get by. Unhooking is literally a couple of minutes. Instead I had my DW direct me in backing up and going forward until I could get past the island. About 10 minutes of frustration. When we got past the island I could see that I couldn’t easily make a left to get to the street. So I decided to go forward through a motel parking lot and make the left there. When we got to the end of the motel drive to make the left turn we were at a...dead end! Had to stop unhook and negotiate a frustrating 32 point turn!  ;D
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit